Travel Roller

By leo.flor, April 12, 2013 17:42
Travel RollerKnowing my obsession with foam rolling and yoga, my sister bought me what I now consider the greatest gift ever, the Travel Roller.  The highlights:
  • Hard plastic roller
  • Three varying tension balls
  • Compact design and easy to travel with (get your roll on anywhere)
  • Made from earth friendly materials, TPE Foam
  • Includes an instructional DVD from the creators who are both Kinesiology grads.
Admittedly I didn’t watch the videos until after I had been using it for weeks.  No one knows my body better than I do and I enjoy trying to figure things out on my own at times.  Rolling on top of the tennis ball sized tension balls provides localized pressure that I found really effective for targeting pain spots.

The North Face Etip Glove

By leo.flor, March 22, 2013 18:21
Got my hands on another glove that was specifically built for using touchscreen devices: the North Face Etip Glove.  I had high hopes for these gloves as my previous endeavor into this realm, the Burton Touchscreen Liner was rather disappointing.

The verdict?  These gloves are much better than those Burton ones but still leave much to be desired.  The touchscreen pads work quite well; this time the downfall lies with the fact that the gloves don’t keep your hands warm (a glove’s primary function).  Even in temperatures close to the freezing mark, I found my hands cold.
Three other comments as stated in my previous post:
  • the palm and other fingers should have “stickier” padding;
  • the touchscreen element should wrap around the index finger and thumb so that you can use the sides of these digits;
  • the glove should expand to the size of the users hand to ensure a tighter fit.

TRENDnet Wireless N Day/Night Internet Camera

By leo.flor, February 23, 2013 12:52

Rather than buying a baby monitor, I decided to set up a webcam instead.  So I picked up an inexpensive one from www.newegg.ca, the Trendnet TV-IP121WN Internet Camera.  The advantages are three-fold:

  • There are numerous apps (some free) that view the camera from an array of different platforms (iOS, Android, PC).  On the iPad at home I use SecurView and I can even look in when I’m out and about using my Google Nexus 4 using TinyCam Monitor Free.
  • Once I no longer need a baby monitor, it easily becomes a home security camera.
  • It’s a cheaper than most baby monitors.

The picture quality is not bad either and it’s a Day/Night cam so it works even when the room is dark.

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More info on the  TRENDnet TV-IP121WN 640 x 480 MAX Resolution RJ45 SecurView Wireless N Day/Night Internet Camera:

  • Very easy to set up.  If you know how to set up a router, you can set this camera up pretty easily.  Once it’s on your wireless network you can view the video on any number of devices.
  • It has other functionality such as motion-detection capture, it can even email you (I haven’t yet tested this).
  • Cons:  The main complaint with the camera, which I knew about prior to purchasing, is that the colour is a little off.  For some reason the video comes out with slight pinkish hues.

my divorce from Telus and casually dating Wind Mobile

By leo.flor, February 1, 2013 10:28

After mulling it over for a few months, I decided it was time I got a new phone (a Google Nexus 4).  I’d been using a Blackberry for a while now and although things started out rosy, it was time to move on to a better smartphone.

I knew that once off Blackberry, I would need more data than I was getting with my current plan.  (Blackberry uses push technology which is typically more efficient data use vs polling.)

While researching wireless plans, my coworker recommended I check out Wind Mobile.  They had a plan that was unlimited everything and a promotion if you brought your own phone.  Being that a  Nexus 4 is sold by Google unlocked, it seemed like a good way to get a new phone and tie it to a plan that wouldn’t punish me for using too much data.

After talking to Telus customer service a couple of times about my plans, they couldn’t negotiate my existing plan into anything resembling the neighbourhood (cost and features) of Wind.  So I decided it was time to leave even though I was still on contract.  Because of the price difference in my plan, I save almost 40% on my bill per month.  This pays for me breaking my Telus contract after 5 months.  It pays for my new phone in two years.  Plus Wind requires no commitment (and I have an unlocked phone) so I can keep shopping for better plans if something comes up.

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So how is Wind?
Because I live in Toronto, my Wind network coverage is pretty good.  The only problem I experienced was when I went up to Collingwood to snowboard.  Couldn’t get a signal on the hill at Alpine Ski Club.

Further re: unlocked phones
I will realize the biggest benefit to having an unlocked phone when I travel.  When I visit the states or go back to the Philippines, I can buy a local prepaid SIM, pop it into my phone and enjoy calls/text/data without worrying about a huge roaming bill.

quick and dirty guide to newborns

By leo.flor, January 25, 2013 17:18

Definitely wouldn’t call myself an expert but my family has survived the first three months of our first child and I wanted to share a couple of things that helped me get through it.

1) The Five Ss:  (What is this?)

  • Swaddle – I do have some experience folding things.
  • Side/Stomach – I’d carry him like a football, in one arm or two arms; on his side or belly.
  • Shush – I’d make my own shhh sound or use a white noise maker (a friend got me sleep sheep).
  • Swing – I would rock the baby or dance with him; kinda like a waltz or something side-to-side.
  • Suck – Try a pacifier.

2) Baby Language:  A friend showed me the Dunstan Baby Language on Oprah (there was a YouTube video which has been taken down, you can check out her site or Wikipedia).
While I didn’t consistently hear these exact sounds from my son, it’s still a short checklist of possible issues he could be experiencing:

  • Neh – means: “I’m hungry”.  This sound I definitely heard.  Also based on last time he ate/how much you can get an idea if he’s hungry.
  • Eh – means: “I need a burp”.  There are different ways to burp a baby, when I’m having trouble, again I try dancing, this time salsa steps (or something back-and-forth or up-and-down).
  • Eairh – means: “I’m gassy/need to fart”.  For this I’d lay the little guy on his back and grab his legs by the calves, one in each hand and I’d alternate between making him do bicycle kicks and push both up to his chest.*
  • Owh – means: “I’m sleepy”.  Do pretty much whatever you can to try to get them to sleep (feed, slow rocking, white noise).
  • Heh – means: “I need a change.”  Try the smell test.  If still unsure, have a peek.

Hope this helps!

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* Update, we took the little big man to a baby massage class where we learned some belly massages that relieve gas.  Any interested readers should learn this from a licensed health professional.  (The class instructor was Margaret Wallis-Duffy RMT, who was Jedi-like with her baby whisperer skills.)

RED Shaun White Hi-Fi Helmet

By leo.flor, November 5, 2012 12:06

One of the ways I notice I’m evolving into a parent is in the things I buy and don’t buy for myself.  Such is the case with this upcoming snowboarding season.  Despite finally getting an opportunity to pick up the Craig Kelly inspired Burton Mystery with my instructor discount, I instead decide to update my HELMET (who am I?!).  New snowboard money has been reallocated to the baby fund.  :(

Though definitely not on the same level of awesome, the new RED Shaun White Hi-Fi Helmet is cool in a couple of ways:

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